Genetic genealogy focus of Bryan Kohberger hearing in Idaho

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom in Latah County, Idaho, on Aug. 18, 2023, for a motion hearing. (Photo: Pool/Lewiston Tribune)

DNA and investigative genetic genealogy took center stage Friday during a motions hearing in Bryan Kohberger’s quadruple murder case in Idaho.

Prosecutors have asked Judge John Judge to issue a protective order on the genetic genealogy information used to identify Bryan Kohberger as a suspect. A protective order would keep that information confidential so Kohberger’s defense team would not be able to view it.

However, Kohberger’s attorneys say they should be allowed to see the process that led police to their client’s doorstep in December 2022. The FBI used genetic genealogy from DNA found on a snap of a Ka-Bar knife sheath found next to Maddie Mogen’s body.

Kohberger faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of the murders of Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin last November.

Genetic Genealogy led police to Bryan Kohberger 

Investigators turned to genetic genealogy after they couldn’t identify a suspect by submitting the DNA from the sheath to a DNA database for known felons called Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). A private lab developed a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) profile and turned it over to the FBI to use in the investigative genetic genealogy process.

Genetic genealogy focus of Bryan Kohberger hearing in Idaho

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